On The Agenda:

Similar to completing a regular jigsaw puzzle, there are some strategies to keep in mind when completing your jigsaw puzzle of retirement.

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Episode Show Notes:

On this episode of How Money Works, Craig and Jennifer Moser explain how retirement planning is like a jigsaw puzzle.

1) Look at the big picture and build a framework

You can’t just dump a thousand puzzle pieces out on the table and expect to put them together unless you know what the picture is supposed to look like. That’s why you always set the box up in front of you so you can see the picture that you’re assembling.

You also have to see the big picture with your financial plan and find all the important pieces to build a framework. When people come to see us, they have a big box of financial stuff, similar to a jigsaw puzzle. How do you organize that stuff and not get in the weeds?

First, you need to figure out where your money will come from in retirement. Without an income plan, you don’t really have a retirement plan. But once you have the right combination of Social Security, pensions, annuities, interest, dividends, or rental income, you can be confident in your monthly paychecks.

2) Sort by color

With a puzzle, it’s often helpful to group pieces together with others that have similar colors. Sorting your financial accounts to find similarities can also be helpful. For instance, you could sort by tax status.

It might then become obvious that 95% of your savings are in tax-deferred accounts. That means you have a tax time bomb that you need to figure out how to diffuse.

3) Have an end game in mind

With a puzzle, it’s best to know your end game before you start. After you finish, do you just plan to take it apart and put it back in the box? Or are you going to glue it and frame it?

It’s the same thing with your financial plan. You need to figure out answers to some crucial questions.

“What kind of retirement do you envision? Think about it in real terms,” said Craig.

Listen to the full episode or use the timestamps below to jump to a certain section. Thanks for listening.

Important Points:

1:22 – Look at the big picture

4:00 – Sort by color

6:36 – Have an end game in mind

Other Resources:

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